CEO and President of T.E.N.
CEO and Chairman of ISE® Talent
Marci McCarthy Delivers Keynote Address at the 2019 Community College Cyber Summit > Watch Marci's Keynote Address
Becoming a Cybersecurity Enabler: How Community Colleges Can Bridge the Diversity and Workforce Gap
Leaders in the cybersecurity industry recognize that there is a lack of women and diversity among their teams. Even though women and minorities nearly comprise half of the general workforce, they only make up a small portion of cybersecurity professionals despite millions of jobs going unfilled and rising cyberattacks. In the past, employers have maintained a structured mindset about candidates’ qualifications to include four-year or advanced degrees, proven industry experience and like-minded thinking. However, due to the shortage of qualified cybersecurity talent, we are experiencing a paradigm shift in how we view these hiring requirements. We now need candidates who are gamechangers, who can bring much needed soft skills, passions and differing opinions that can take team thinking to the next level. With their various perspectives, women and minorities must be encouraged to enter the field as early as possible, but it’s also crucial that they maintain a passion to learn and succeed by cultivating the necessary skills to stay there. Fortunately, they can obtain technical skills and certifications by pursuing specialized training, work-study programs and apprenticeships, such as those offered by cyber boot camps, technical schools and community colleges. Currently, though, community colleges and similar establishments experience challenges with marketing themselves as security partners who enable cybersecurity professional development. To connect upcoming, diverse talent with employers who need them, community colleges can adapt and enhance the way they interact with both groups. Join us as we share our insights about the challenges community colleges face in becoming cybersecurity enablers, facilitating job readiness and contributing to solve the industry’s diversity and workforce shortage.